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Louise Eldrich's title "The Leap" alludes to two physical leaps and one figurative leap made by the narrator's mother:
- Her first physical leap is that of one of the Flying Avalons as she saves her life in the storm that toppled the big top.
- Her second physical leap is that of climbing a tree and leaping from a branch that hangs over the roof of her house so that she can rescue her daughter from the burning bedroom
- Her figurative leap is that of learning to read in the hospital where she meets her second husband, the physician who set her arm and read to her while it mended.
Anna Avalon has told her daughter that as one flies through the air there is definitely time to think. "I know that she's right." The narrator's mother has served as a marvelous model to her daughter to leap and take control of her life regardless of whatever situation in which she finds herself.
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